The UK Plans to Ban All New Gas and Diesel Cars and Vans by 2040
The days of the good old trusty internal combustion engine, which revolutionized transportation but also maybe helped usher in a looming environmental apocalypse , may be numbered across the pond.
Reports in the
both indicated the
A government spokesman told the Guardian , which said it was given access to parts of the proposal, the move was primarily related to concerns over air quality. A recent government report concluded smog kills at least 40,000 people throughout the UK a year.
"Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible," the spokesman said. "That is why we are providing councils with new funding to accelerate development of local plans, as part of an ambitious £3 billion program to clean up dirty air around our roads."
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, told the Financial Times he thought the move could potentially undermine the UK's 800,000 automotive jobs unless the government provided incentives to offset "very low level demand ... over affordability, range and charging ports."
It's important to note that the plans would hinge somewhat in practice on the ability to manufacture affordable cars. As Jalopnik reported this month, the worldwide electric vehicle industry faces fundamental resource constraints like potential shortages of battery materials including lithium and particularly cobalt, which will require a lot of research into scalable alternatives.
Earlier in July,
If we're being honest, this kind of nationwide regulation is barely even conceptually possible at this stage in the US, which is
the Environmental Protection Agency and preparing to
drill, baby, drill
as much as possible.